Special Announcements


Stain glass of lion

—- Update 19 June —-

Please see the following pastoral letter from the Bishops of Scotland.

BCOS Pastoral Letter Corpus Christi 2022

—- Update 5 June —-

Please see the following letter for the Day for Life on caring for the older person:

2022 Day for Life

—- Update 4 April —-


Holy Thursday

Mass of the Lord’s Supper:                   7:00pm

Confessions:                                                9 – 11:00pm

Adoration at Altar of Repose until    11:00pm

Good Friday

The Passion of Our Lord:                      3:00pm

Stations of the Cross:                             7:00pm (followed by Confession)

Holy Saturday

Confessions:                                                12noon – 1:00pm

Easter Vigil:                                                  8:30pm

Easter Sunday

Mass                                                              10:00am

—- Update 27 March —-

This weekend, Archbishop Cushley sent a letter to be read out during Mass for SCIAF Sunday. You can find a copy of the letter here

—- Update 24 March —-

Friday 25 March – Consecration of Russia & Ukraine

Pope Francis has asked us to join him in a prayer for peace and in the consecration and entrustment of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 4pm on Friday (25 March).
Archbishop Leo will recite the ‘consecration prayer’ (see below) live on YouTube 
If you are available, please join him in prayer at that time.

Consecration Prayer

—- Update 5 February —-

We no longer need to take the details of people who attend Mass, although please note that face coverings must still be worn inside the church (unless you have an exemption) and everyone must sanitise their hands on entering the church.

The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy days of Obligation is to be restored on 6th March 2022.

—- Update 5 January —-

You can read the January letter from the Justice and Peace Commission by clicking here.

—- Update 23 December —-

Suspension of the Sunday Obligation
Below is a statement made by Bishop Gilbert
on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference.

“At the beginning of Advent the Bishops of Scotland looked forward to welcoming the faithful back to Holy Mass and anticipated that the restoration of the Sunday Obligation might be possible as we begin the New Year. Sadly, there has been a serious worsening of the situation and the restoration of the obligation will be postponed until a more favourable time. For us Sunday is always a Holy Day and we invite those who are unable to be with us in person to continue to join with us in prayer and spiritual communion either by personal or family prayers or by online celebrations of Mass.
We ask everyone to continue to pray for a speedy end to the Pandemic and for the good health of you and your loved ones in 2022. We also pray for all those who passed during 2021 and those who grieve.  May Our Lady Health of the Sick pray for us and may Saints Andrew and Margaret protect us.”


—- Update 21 December —-

After weeks of being locked out of the website, we are back online! Back-copies of the newsletter have been added to the newsletter page.

Mass times and confessions over Christmas

Here are all the details you need if you’re thinking of joining us to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – and everyone is welcome to do so.

Christmas Masses

Christmas Eve: 9 pm
Christmas Day: 10 am
Please note that there is NO Saturday Vigil Mass on Christmas Day, but the usual 10am Sunday Mass will be held on Boxing Day.
Father Seán will be offering confessions on the following days, starting at 7 pm and continuing until everyone who is there has been seen:
Tuesday 21st December
Thursday 23rd December

There will be NO MASS on Monday 27th December.

—- Update 3 September —-


A Requiem Mass will be held for John Allan this Friday, 12th November, at 12.30 pm. The parish extends its deepest sympathies to John’s family at this time. Please remember him and them in your prayers.

Facebook and  forty hours

We are in the process of setting up a Facebook page to make it easier for people to keep track of what is happening in the parish. Please head over to Facebook, give us a like and spread the word!

A sign-up sheet has been placed on the notice board at the back of church for St. Mark’s 40 Hours Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament . Anyone interested in participating should sign their name on the day & time slot/s they would like to cover.


—- Update 3 September —-

No Saturday morning Mass on 4 September

Please note that there will be no morning Mass on Saturday 4 September.

Father Seán’s first Mass at St. Mark’s will be the
Vigil Mass on 4 September.

—- Update 1 September —-

Goodbye and hello

Canon Michael left the parish yesterday and we hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement.  Thanks to generous donations from parishioners, we were able to present him with the following gifts as tokens of our gratitude and best wishes:

An engraved whisky glass: “With grateful thanks from St. Mark’s Parish”
A bottle of Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition
A bottle of fine Italian red wine
A pack of luxury Italian stationery from the brand Pineider
A card written on behalf of the parish containing a cheque for £1000

Father Sean joins us this week and I’m sure we are all looking forward to giving him a  warm welcome.

Andrew Wood
(current Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council)

—- Update 24 August —-

An earlier version of the message below stated there would be a Mass on Monday 30 August. Please note that this is not the case – there will be no Mass on that day. Canon Michael’s last Mass at St Mark’s will be on Tuesday 31 August.

Apologies for any confusion!

—- Update 16 August (2 messages) —-

Booking for Mass no longer necessary!

Now that almost all restrictions have been lifted by the Scottish Government, we’re pleased to announce that booking is no longer necessary for Mass.

The Parish has a register of parishioners who normally attend Mass and visitors to the parish are kindly asked to register their names and contact details after Mass. This is deemed sufficient for trace and protect purposes.

Please note that masks must still be worn inside the church and everyone is asked to sanitise their hands on entering and leaving the church. Doors and windows must also be kept open to aid ventilation, so please ensure you are dressed warmly.

Please also bear in mind that many people will still be nervous about the virus and maintain a respectful distance from other people/households in and around the church.

Stewards will still be on duty for at least the next few weeks to answer any queries and help out where required.

Canon Michael’s last Masses at St. Mark’s

As announced previously, Canon Michael is retiring at the end of this month. His last weekend Masses will be on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 August and his last weekday Mass will be on Tuesday 31 August (there is no Mass on Monday 30 August, as previously stated here).

—- Update 9 June (3 messages) —-

A message from Canon Michael

My dear parishioners,
Following the lifting of a recent embargo, I am now able to share the special announcement I made to our parishioners able to attend Mass last weekend, and now wish to communicate to all our parishioners still unable to join us for Mass in the parish church.

Due primarily to personal health issues, Archbishop Leo has accepted my request to retire from the active ministry within the Archdiocese and from my appointment as parish priest of St. Mark’s and my place in the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter at the end of the summer. In accordance with Canon Law, I had to offer an official letter of resignation to Archbishop Leo, and in a reply dated 27 May, the Archbishop stated: “I hereby accept your resignation with immediate effect and appoint you administrator of St. Mark’s until the moment your successor’s appointment takes effect.”

My successor has been appointed. He is Fr. Sean Bradley, IVE, which is a Religious Institute founded in Argentina in 1984. He is an Irishman, in his fifties, ordained priest in 2016, and is currently serving as assistant priest in St. Francis Xavier’s Parish, Falkirk. He will take up the post of Administrator of St. Mark’s, and assistant chaplain to the Royal Infirmary, on the first weekend of September.

I have served St. Mark’s for eleven years, very happy years among a lovely group of parishioners. It’s going to be a difficult time for me in these next two or three months, before I move out sometime in August. I want to thank you all for the warm welcome you extended to me on my arrival at St. Mark’s and for these past years that we have lived, worked and prayed together. But let’s hold our heads high, place our trust in God, and remain happy and faithful in our following of the Lord Jesus.

A message from the Parish SCIAF Group:

The SCIAF Group would like to thank all those who handed in their “Lenten Wee Boxes” for their very generous donations. The total amounted to £927.00, and we have added an extra amount from our SCIAF bank account. We were thus able to send a cheque to SCIAF for £1300.00. Our sincere thanks.

Message regarding re-scheduled FIRST HOLY COMMUNION MASS:

Having spoken to the Head Teacher of St. Mark’s Primary School, Mrs McFarlane, and hoping that all will be well with the children of P4 when they come out of self-isolation, we have agreed to go ahead with the First Holy Communion Mass, postponed from last Saturday due to one child in the group testing positive with the Covid virus.

All going well, the First Holy Communion Mass will now take place on SATURDAY, 19 JUNE, AT 10.00 am. I have sent an email to all the parents concerned, but this is for the general information of all our parishioners. Please remember to pray for these children and for those receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on Saturday, 12 June.

—- Update 30 May —-

New parish email address

The parish now has a new email address, which is:



—- Update 9 May —-

Solemnity of the Ascension

Thursday 13th May

A Vigil Mass will be held

at 7pm on Wednesday 12th May and

a Day Mass will be held

at 10am on Thursday 13th May

to celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension.

As we are not expecting large numbers, there is no need to book for either of these Masses, however, the names and contact telephone numbers of those attending will be recorded for track and trace purposes.

—- Update 22 April —-

New postgraduate educational opportunities
coming to the Gillis Centre

This September, St Mary’s University in Twickenham, a leading Catholic university in the UK, will open a campus at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh in conjunction with the Archdiocese.

There will be a range of part-time postgraduate MA courses in Theology and Education available, giving you the flexibility to study in the evening and at weekends.

This is great news for the provision of Catholic Education in Scotland. Archbishop Cushley has written a pastoral letter about this exciting initiative which is available to read online at bit.ly/PastoralLetter240421.

Find out more about the courses and register at www.stmarys.ac.uk/edinburgh

—- Update 19 March —-

Bookings for the Vigil Mass for Palm Sunday open at 5pm on Saturday 20th March.

Bookings for the Palm Sunday Mass open at 10am on Sunday 21st March.

The booking system has changed slightly. For instructions on how to use it, please click here.

—- Update 14 March —-




 27 March

Saturday Vigil-Mass of Palm Sunday: 5.00 pm (booking required)

 28 March

Sunday Mass of Palm Sunday: 10.00 am (booking required)

 30 March

Mass for Tuesday of Holy Week: 10.00 am (no booking required)

 1 April

Holy Thursday

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7.00 pm (booking required)

 2 April

Good Friday (Fasting and Abstinence)

Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion: 3.00 pm (booking required)

 3 April

Easter Sunday

Easter Vigil in the Holy Night: 8.30 pm (booking required)

 4 April

Easter Sunday

Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection: 10.00 am (booking required)

 6 April

Mass for Tuesday of Easter Week: 10.00 am (no booking required)

8 April

Mass for Thursday of Easter Week (no booking required)


—- Update 9 March —-


“I rejoiced when I heard them say:
‘Let us go to God’s house.’
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.”

(Psalm 121 [122])

My dear parishioners,

With the announcement today from the First Minister that our churches can re-open for divine worship from Friday, 26 March, even with a restricted number of 50 in the congregation, we can share the joy of the pilgrim in the Book of Psalms, responding to the invitation: “Let us go to God’s house.”

That invitation is now addressed to all of us once again, and it becomes all the more treasured as we realise that the scheduled re-opening of our parish church coincides with the start of the celebration of Holy Week.  Somehow for me the absence of our parishioners has been harder to bear in this second lock-down.  Perhaps because of the harsh latter part of our winter this year.

So, I can’t tell you enough how much I look forward to seeing you all again and celebrating Mass with you.

No doubt we shall be returning to the system of booking places for Mass and Andrew Wood, the Chairman of our Parish Pastoral Council, will post the necessary details on our parish website when it is convenient to do so.

In the meantime, “rejoice”, parishioners of St. Mark’s, that soon, and for the celebration of Our Lord’s passion, death and resurrection, “our feet will be standing within the gates of our parish church.”

Another point, for your information: due to what our Archbishop described only a few days ago as “the continuing uncertainty surrounding when and how our churches will re-open this spring and about how many people will be allowed to attend ceremonies”, he has decided not to confirm our children of Primary 7 as planned, nor to visit various churches to do this, but has delegated his parish priests to confirm the children in their own parishes.  He has also postponed the Chrism Mass, celebrated on the Tuesday evening of Holy Week, until sometime in June.

And because of his decision, I have also taken the decision to postpone the planned celebration we were to hold marking the 60th Anniversary of the founding of our parish, with the Archbishop as the principal celebrant, to a much later date in the year, when hopefully Covid-19 restrictions have been greatly reduced, or even cancelled altogether.

I wish you all every blessing from the Lord who travels with us on our Lenten journey.  Stay safe.  Be responsible.

Canon Michael

—- Update 4 January —-

Due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions,
we are unable to hold public Masses
until February at the earliest.


—- Update 20 December —-


Starting from Boxing Day, the maximum number of people permitted to attend Mass will be 20.

This will continue to be the case for as long as Edinburgh is in Tier 4. 

Unfortunately, if you arrive at Mass and have not booked a place, we will not be allowed to let you in. This is a situation that we very much regret, but it is beyond our control.

Please spread the word to any parishioners you may know who do not have access to the Internet.

—- Update 15 December —-

 CHRISTMAS AT ST. MARK’S (2020-2021)


Thursday, 24 December: Night Mass of Christmas at 8.00 pm
Friday, 25 December: Day Mass of Christmas at 10.00 am

Saturday, 26 December: Feast of St. Stephen, Protomartyr: Mass at 10.00 am


Saturday, 26 December: Vigil-Mass at 5.00 pm
Sunday, 27 December: Day-Mass at 10.00 am

Tuesday, 29 December (Within the Christmas Octave): Mass at 10.00 am

(New Year’s Day and World Day of Prayer for Peace)

Friday, 1 January: Mass at 10.00 am

(Today: Special Collection for the Work of Justice and Peace)

Saturday, 2 January: Vigil Mass at 5.00 pm
Sunday, 3 January: Day Mass at 10.00 am

From today: return to normal weekday Masses on Tuesday and Thursday at 10.00 am

—- Update 22 November —-



The Archdiocese of St Andrew & Edinburgh are launching a Diploma in
Catechetics course. It is open to anyone who wants to learn more about
their faith and deepen their understanding of Catholic theology, but would
prove very useful to those involved in some form of catechetical work of the
Church (children’s liturgists, RCIA team members, teachers, youth group
leaders, parishioners involved in sacramental preparation, etc).
Lectures will be delivered each Thursday evening at 7.30 pm in a 45-
minute Zoom session.
The 12-month course for a Diploma in Catechetics begins on 14 January
2021 and ends on 9 December 2021. There will be 6 modules of 6 classes.
An assessment will be made by an oral interview on Zoom at the end of
each module.
The course is run by the Catechetics Commission of the Archdiocese. Sr.
Anna-Marie McGuan, the Archdiocesan Catechetics advisor, is leading the
course. Lectures will be delivered by religious and diocesan priests, lay
people and religious sisters.
The course costs £100, but can be paid by the parish for any parish
catechists. Financial assistance is available for anyone in financial
The 6 modules cover the following:
  1. The Role of the Laity in the Church Today
  2. The Sacraments
  3. Introduction to Scripture and Old Testament Study and Introduction
  4. Scripture and Old Testament Study (continued)
  5. Christology and New Testament Study
  6. Systematic Theology – What Do We Believe about God and Why?
  7. Principles of Moral Theology
You can register now by e-mailing sranna.marie@staned.org.uk
A 30-minute Zoom introductory session for those interested in finding out
more about the Diploma course takes place at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, 24
November, 2020. No registration is required for this session


—- Update 31 October —-

The following message is from the head of St. Mark’s School:

Dear Parents and Carers

If your child is now in their pre-school year it is time to register them for school.

This year school registration for August 2021 takes place on the Council website.

How parents/carers should enrol/register their child

    • birth certificate,
    • council tax form (or 2 proofs of address if they are not eligible to pay council tax) and
    • baptismal certificate for RC schools
  • You must click SUBMIT when you have completed the form and uploaded the information.
  • The deadline for enrolling/registering is Friday 13thNovember.  All parents should register their child by that date.
  • Late applications after 13th November: the form will remain live and parents should complete as soon as possible.

Non-catchment applications

NB: this is NOT the same form as for mid-year or other year group out-of-catchment requests

  • Non catchment applications for P1 must be made by 24thDecember

Further information can be found on the school  website  https://stmarksrcedin.wordpress.com/  

and on our YouTube channel, where you will see this year’s Primary 1 staff show you around their classroom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7b7uyT4rUI  

Please call the school if you have any questions.

Due to current infection control measures we are unable to welcome parents in for a tour of the school.

Thank you for your attention

Mrs Margaret McFarlane

Head Teacher

St. Mark’s R.C. Primary

63, Firrhill Crescent, Edinburgh. EH139EE.

0131 441 2948


Pastoral Letter on Covid-19 Crisis

The Archbishop has asked that the following pastoral letter be shared with the people of the parish (please click the following link to open the letter): Pastoral Letter on Covid-19


Message from CANON MICHAEL

"How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord, God of hosts.

My soul is longing and yearning.
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy
to God, the living God. 

The sparrow herself finds a home
and the swallow a nest for her brood;
she lays her young by your altars,
Lord of hosts, my king and my God. 

They are happy, who dwell in your house
for ever singing your praise….
One day within your courts
is better than a thousand elsewhere."

(Psalm 83 [84])

These selected verses from Psalm 83 are described as a “pilgrimage song”, a “song of Zion praising God as host in his Temple, dispensing happiness and forgiveness to pilgrims and to all who serve in his sanctuary”.  They come readily to my mind as the doors of our parish church, our spiritual home as children of God, are opened once again, not only for private prayer, but also for our re-union around the Lord’s altar to celebrate the Eucharist “in memory of the Lord Jesus”.  After separation from our public worship for four months now, and experiencing hunger for the Bread of life, our hearts and souls will truly “ring out their joy”.

Sunday Mass will resume on Saturday, 1 August (Vigil-Mass at 5.00 pm) and Sunday, 2 August (Day-Mass at 10.00 am).  Following the guidelines of the Scottish Government and of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, the Mass will be shorter than what we are used to in order that the time we spend together in an enclosed space does not become an aid to the spread of the virus.  The number of worshippers will be limited to 38 who will be guided by the parish volunteers managing the assembly.  A place at Mass needs to be booked in advance through the website “Eventbrite”.  Please follow the instructions posted on our website.

Over the three weeks that we have opened the church for private prayer before the exposed Blessed Sacrament I have sensed the deep satisfaction of parishioners who were able to attend.  At this stage I can only imagine what it will feel like both for me and for you to return to church for Mass.  I look forward to it and seeing you once again, when God, our “host in his Temple”, will once again answer the request that is in all our hearts: “Lord, give us that bread always” (John 6:34).

Welcome back!  See you soon, and God bless you all.

Canon Michael

Friday 24th July 2020


If you are willing and able to act as a steward for mass, please contact us.
The intention is that three stewards cover each mass, helping worshipers follow social distancing guidelines and cleaning the pews after mass.